Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Release Day: SAVED (Breaking Free #1)

It's finally here, y'all! Back in late May/early June, my brain latched onto an idea for an Omegaverse story and wouldn't let go. So I stopped what I was currently drafting and jumped into this world where only men exist, they're either alpha, beta, or omega, and where omegas had very few rights at all.

Yes, some of this story was an outlet for my frustration over what's currently happening in the world. It's also a study of our political climate, past and present, as well as what could happen in the future if we don't continue to resist and fight for the equal treatment of all human beings, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

So I hope you enjoy this journey into a new world, and please take the warnings seriously. 




SAVED
(Breaking Free Book 1)
An Omegaverse Story


He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…


Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their happily ever after.

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. 67,000 words.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

First Chapter: SAVED (Breaking Free #1)

I can't believe it's been four months since I've updated the blog! So much has happened, including the re-release of the five-book Cost of Repairs series. I'll update my Books page soon with all the links and fun new covers.

For right now, it's only one week left until my first Omegaverse story, SAVED, releases into the wild of Amazon/KU, and I'm crazy nervous. If you're curious about this story (and I hope you are), here is the first chapter to give you a taste of this brand-new world I've created.


Chapter One

Braun didn’t remember a thing about the car accident that sent him to the provincial hospital’s emergency care. He only remembered getting in the car so his father could drive him to his health screening, and then waking up in a bed with a headache and sore ribs, and a beta constable watching his door.

The constable didn’t surprise him. Braun was an unmated omega showing signs of his first heat, hence today’s health screening. His guard, Constable Heely, gently explained that their car had been hit on the driver’s side, head-on, and that his father was in surgery to repair severe lacerations to his neck and torso.

Braun wanted to tell the doctors to simply let the man die, but what would become of Braun then? His omegin was long-dead, and his older brother’s mate was a nightmare, just as their father had been. Omegas, especially young, unmated ones, could not legally live on their own, and he’d heard terrible rumors about the halfway houses for orphaned omegas, or for those whose mate had died.

As much as Braun hated the man, he needed his father to live long enough for Braun to find a mate who’d take him, despite having nothing to offer except his body. Their family came from poor stock, barely living on their fixed government income, and it was to his alpha father’s eternal shame that he’d been given two omega sons and no alpha heirs.

Besides, as an alpha, the doctors would help his father, no matter what. Alpha health received top priority, always, while omegas were seen to last, even after betas. Probably why the constable wasn’t making an effort to tell anyone Braun was awake and asking questions.

“How long has he been in surgery?” Braun asked the constable.

“They took him up about thirty minutes ago,” he replied. “He lost a lot of blood on the scene and in transit, from what I’ve heard. I’m sure someone will be down when there’s news.”

“Thank you.”  Braun didn’t ask any other questions, because the older man seemed bored by the whole thing. Betas were generally indifferent to omega issues, so being told to stand guard over one on the verge of his first heat had to be pretty high on the list of Boring Things I’d Rather Not Be Doing.

Braun tested out his extremities and torso, finding nothing else terribly wrong with himself, other than a few bandaged cuts. His father’s side of the car had taken the brunt of the collision, and Braun had never before been so grateful for the man’s asshole-ish demand that Braun ride in the backseat like a child, rather than in the front like the grown man he was. Twenty—twenty-one in a few weeks—was ridiculously old to still be subjected to that, but Braun had no choice if he ever wanted to leave his neighborhood. Unmated omegas weren’t allowed to drive, and mated omegas could only learn with the permission of their alpha mate.

Kell.

“Has my brother been told about the accident?” Braun asked.

The constable shrugged. “I don’t know. I wasn’t given that information.”

“Can you find out? His name is Kell Iverson. His mate is Krause Iverson.”

The name snared Constable Heely’s full attention. “Iverson?”

“Yes. His family is part of the Iverson Financial Group.”

“Your brother mated well.”

He’s mated to an evil son of a bitch alpha who treats my brother like shit.

“Can you find out if he knows, please?” Braun asked, pushing back a rise of fury that always hit him when he thought about his older brother’s situation with Krause—a situation Braun had no power to change. And worse, his brother was pregnant with their first child and due to give birth soon. Braun’s joy at finally being an uncle was always tempered by remembering who the child’s sire was.

“I’ll call my supervisor and find out.”

“Thank you.”

The man stepped into the corridor to make his call. Braun used the bed control to raise his upper body some more. It strained his ribs, but he felt less exposed, less weak. He had no idea who his father might have listed as an emergency contact, but he knew the man wouldn’t have listed either of his sons. His disdain for omegas dripped off him like oil. More than once, Braun and his brother had been subjected to cruel ranting tirades about “useless omegas” who weren’t “good for anything except shitting out more useless omegas, just like your useless omegin!”

A nurse in red scrubs walked into his room, then stopped short, dark eyebrows going up in surprise. “Oh, you’re awake,” he said.

“For a few minutes now,” Braun replied. He smelled like a beta, so Braun didn’t bother averting his eyes. “My head hurts a lot.”

“That’s because you got a solid wallop against the car window. I’ll let your doctor know, so he can adjust your pain dosage.” The man made a note on Braun’s chart, then fiddled with one of the machines. “There you go. More pain medicine for your head.”

Braun blinked. “Don’t you have to ask the doctor first?”

“Unfortunately, honey, your assigned doctor is one of those old-fashioned assholes who doesn’t think omega health is a priority. He’ll probably look at the chart and think he did order the increase.” The kind nurse held out his hand. “I’m Serge.”

Braun tentatively shook the offered hand. “Braun. Thank you.”

“For what?”

“Treating me like a human being.”

Serge groaned. “Ugh, I hate that you have to thank someone for being kind to you. Alphahole parent?”

Braun glanced at the door to make sure were still alone—an omega openly bashing an alpha was considered an arrestable offense—before nodding. “And my brother’s been mated to someone worse.”

“Ouch, honey, I’m so sorry. Is your brother coming to see you?”

“I don’t know, that’s what my guard went to find out for me. I doubt my brother’s husband would bring him here to see me, or allow him to take a taxi, but he still should know. Especially since our father is critical.”

Constable Heely walked into the doorway and hovered there. “I left a message for your brother with one of the family’s servants.”

“I appreciate it, thank you,” Braun said.

“And I, unfortunately,” Serge said, “have other patients to check on, but I’ll try to stop by later to see how you’re doing, okay? You aren’t being admitted for your injuries, but the authorities will probably keep you here until your father’s condition improves.”

“I understand.” As much as Braun didn’t want to be stuck in the hospital for days or weeks, it was better than being stuck in a jail cell, which he’d heard rumors had been done a few times when an unmated omega or widowed omegin was in heat. For the omega’s safety.

After Serge left, Braun settled in to wait for news of his father’s condition.

#

News came after two hours of staring around his small room, with only the bored constable for silent company. Neither of them attempted to initiate conversation. They likely had nothing in common, anyway. The man was a constable and of authority, and Braun was a lowly omega with no higher education. His father had withdrawn Kell and Braun from school when they each turned sixteen, as was his right under the law. Omegas could enter their first heat at any time after that age, and the younger they heated, the more fertile they likely were.

Braun and Kell had both disgraced their father by not heating until they were both nearly twenty-one, usually an undesirable age for an alpha in his own prime who wanted a large, healthy family. It had shocked Braun when a family as powerful as the Iversons had allowed Krause to mate with Kell, especially at Kell’s age. Their father had been overjoyed to relieve himself of the burden of one of his two omega offspring.

A doctor in white scrubs entered Braun’s room with Serge in tow, and the tall, broad-shouldered man reeked of alpha. His flat expression told Braun nothing, and Braun respectfully kept his gaze on the man’s chin.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said, “but your father died in surgery. The damage was too extensive.”

Braun’s heart ripped in two directions at once. He wanted to celebrate the death of a cruel, heartless man, but he was also terrified now that his only protection from the world was gone. Ripped away in a freak accident, leaving Braun an unmated orphan omega. Braun didn’t know what his face looked like, but Serge rushed to his side and held one of his hands. Braun squeezed tight, grateful for the support from the stranger.

“What happens to me now?” Braun asked.

“I’ve been advised of your situation,” the doctor said. “And I believe the authorities will agree that you’ll be best off in a halfway house for now, until you’re claimed.”

Claimed. Braun hated that word, as if he was a lost possession waiting for its owner to find him. Mated at least implied a partnership, even if there never was an equal balance to the pairing. Alphas would always be bigger, stronger protectors of the smaller, weaker omegas. It was simple biology.

“I have a brother who is mated,” Braun said. “Could I go live with him?”

“If you were a widow, then normally yes, other family could take responsibility for you,” Constable Heely replied. “But you’ve never been mated, and your chart says you’re showing signs of your first heat. You’ll be safer in a halfway house, unless you’d prefer a jail cell.”

“No, not jail. Wait, when did you read my chart?”

“While you were unconscious.” The constable still sounded bored. “I can transfer him as soon as he’s released,” he said to the doctor. “All I’ll need is his medical history, so the staff knows how to tend to him.”

Tend to me. I’m not a damned house plant, I’m a human being.

A human being utterly alone in a world that denied him any autonomy to make decisions about himself or his body. He had to go where they sent him, or risk being jailed for real.

The doctor and constable conversed by the door.

Serge squeezed his hand tighter. “I’m so sorry about this,” he whispered. “I wish I could help, but I don’t have any legal authority to intervene.”

“I know,” Braun replied, “but it helps knowing someone actually gives a damn what happens to me.”

“Your brother doesn’t give a damn?”

“He does. We love each other very much, but he has an extremely controlling husband, so there’s nothing my brother can do to help.”

“Well, these halfway houses are just temporary for omegas. I’m sure someone as gorgeous as you will find a mate in no time.”

“Thank you.” Braun had never felt very attractive, and the compliment from Serge—cute, blond, blue eyes, excellent build—boosted his confidence a fraction. “It’s scary not knowing what’s next.”

“I know, honey, but you’ve got a strong core. The car they pulled you out of was completely totaled. Whatever’s coming your way? You’ll survive, I know it.” Serge pointed at Braun’s chest. His heart. “In here, I know it.”

“I’ll get started on the discharge paperwork,” the doctor said, loud enough for Braun to hear. “And then he’s all yours.”

Braun bristled at the dismissive tone. He’d heard it all his life, mostly from his father, but that vile creature was dead. Gone from this earth and Braun’s life. In that moment, Braun vowed to find a good, decent alpha for his mate, someone who’d protect him from cruel men and provide for their children.

He owed Kell and their omegin nothing less.

#

The halfway house was a dreary structure in a mostly abandoned neighborhood, a victim of the housing crisis of three years ago. Empty, abandoned homes lined the street, some of them vandalized, many with front doors wide open. Untended yards likely teeming with ticks and snakes and spiders. The yard of Braun’s new home was mowed, but still a bit wild in its upkeep.

Constable Heely delivered him there as promised, and a wide, stumpy man greeted him at the door. Beta to his core, but he’d been around an alpha recently, because the scent clung to his skin.

“Ah, our new arrival,” the stranger said with a grin. “Name’s Fynn. I’m house director here, and I’ll be helping you get settled.” To the constable, he asked, “You got papers?”

Heely handed over a big envelop with Braun’s medical history, as well as the bottle of prescription painkillers for his ribs.

“Good, good,” Fynn said. “Your work is much appreciated, constable, but I can take it from here.”

Braun swore he heard Heely muttered, “Thank goddess,” but he couldn’t swear to it.

Fynn ushered Braun inside. The interior of the home was well-maintained. They stood inside of a big living room with two sofas and a television. Four young men were lounging around, watching a program. They didn’t wave or greet him in any way, and that sent prickles of alarm down Braun’s spine. They all seemed….disinterested. Bored.

“The downstairs is all yours,” Fynn said, leading him through the living room to a kitchen in the rear. He pointed to a locked refrigerator. “Mealtimes are strictly observed and there’s no snacking in between. And that room”—he tapped on a padlocked door that was probably the entrance to a basement—“is off-limits unless you’re in heat. That’s our quiet room. The backyard is fenced in and has barbed wiring at the top, so you can go out there at your leisure, except during heat.”

All that made sense. Braun followed him down a hallway to a staircase, and up they went. Fynn stopped at a room with a set of bunked beds, one of them less than perfectly made. “This is your room. Top bunk is free. Your roommate’s name is Gill. He’s probably in the yard right now, he does love to lay about in the sun.”

“How many of us are here?” Braun asked.

“Six, not including you, so I guess seven. Once a week, we have an open house for unmated alphas to come visit, see if anyone is a good fit or feels the mating bond. Next one is in three days. You’re good-looking enough and in great shape, so you might not be here very long. How old are you again?”

“Twenty, almost twenty-one.”

Fynn grimaced. “Well, maybe, I don’t know. Like I said, you’re good-looking.”

Braun resisted rolling his eyes. He was well-aware of his age and that it lowered his chances of finding a good match, but he was determined to do this for Kell. Maybe it would be difficult to find a good alpha at twenty, going on twenty-one, but he was damned glad he hadn’t been made an omegin at eighteen. The idea of giving birth at any age terrified him.

“I gotta go get dinner started,” Fynn said. “We eat at six sharp.” The man turned and left.

Alone for the first time in hours, Braun stared at the bunked beds a moment, and then heaved his duffel bag onto it. Constable Heely had driven Braun home—his former home—so he could collect clothing, toiletries and personal items. As per the law, omegas couldn’t inherit property, so his father’s home and possessions would be sold, and whatever money it made would be put into a trust for Braun’s future mate to manage.

Please, goddess, give me a mate who will let me manage my own money.

Braun didn’t know anyone in this house, and he didn’t know his roommate, this Gill person, so Braun didn’t unpack, despite the small room having two dressers and a closet. He stayed in his room, bored and scared, until dinner. The dining room had a long, wide table, and he sat next to a young omega who exuded fear and sadness. Everyone at the table, except Fynn, was subdued, and Braun couldn’t help feeling sorry for them. They were all young, like him, and likely orphaned. Alone in a world that saw no value in them except as reproductive vessels for future alphas.

Betas could marry in a civil union version of an alpha/omega mating, but they were unable to reproduce. Beta couples who wanted children could apply to adopt unwanted beta infants produced by alpha/omega couples. Those children were usually given up for adoption by extremely fertile couples who couldn’t support the extra offspring.  

Only an alpha/omega coupling could create children, and alphas were the top prize. The biggest earners, the CEO’s, the inventors and the powerful. It was considered an honor to be omegin to an alpha offspring, and doubly so to birth two. Only one omegin in history had ever given birth to four alpha children, and he had small marble bust in his honor at the Museum of Natural History.

No one really spoke during the meal, and Braun wasn’t sure if that was because of house rules—of which he hadn’t really been notified—or because no one had anything to say about anything. So he ate the boring plate of meat and potatoes Fynn had cooked and drank the juice put by his plate. Apple wasn’t his favorite, but it was wet and he was thirsty. Apparently the only other between-meals thing available was tap water.

After everyone had finished eating, Fynn stood at the head of the table. “We have a new face in the house tonight, everyone,” he said. “Please say hello to Braun Etting. His father died in a tragic automobile accident this morning, leaving him alone in the world.”

A murmur of hellos rose up from the table. Braun waved, cheeks blazing at being put on the spot.

“Gill, Braun has been assigned to your room.”

The guy across from Braun with white-blond hair and a thin face glared at Braun but said nothing. Must be Gill.

“Now,” Fynn continued, “who can tell Braun what the number one house rule is?”

“Don’t go out the front door without an escort,” a guy with dark skin and black hair piped up.

“Exactly. I’m the only permanent resident who lives here and sleeps here every night, but we have daytime volunteers who are here from seven in the morning until five at night, to assist with your needs. The backyard is open territory, but you are not allowed to go out the front door, not for medical appointments or any other reason, without a volunteer escort.”

“Understood,” Braun said softly.

“A list of chores is put out every morning, and everyone is expected to contribute their fair share. As long as you all contribute, no one will be punished.”

Braun had been on the painful end of enough belt beatings to avoid doing anything that led to punishment. He’d do whatever he needed to do in order to get through this new part of his life and be ready for his alpha when he finally showed up.

(c) 2017 A.M. Arthur
.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Surprise Release: Their Life As They Live It (Perspectives #4)

I'm beyond thrilled to finally release the Secret Project I've been teasing about on social media since March. I never planned on writing this story, but once the idea was planted, it sprang forth in a flurry of quickly-written words. I loved getting into Bear's mind and seeing things from his perspective, and I hope you enjoy it, too.


Their Life As They Live It (Perspectives #4)
A.M. Arthur


“Happiness is not a goal…it is a by-product of a life well lived.”
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Bernard “Bear” Henson is a blessed man. He is happily married to the love of his life, he co-owns a successful business, and his grown son is desperately in love with a wonderful partner. But Bear knows all too well how precarious that happiness is, so he lives every day with love in his heart and gratitude for everything he has—especially his husband Richard Brightman. Richard has been HIV-positive for thirty years and every new day is a gift.

When Richard becomes unexpectedly ill and is rushed to the hospital, Bear braces for his beautifully constructed life to come crashing down. A hard-won life full of ups and downs, illnesses and setbacks, love and anger, and a lot of regret for how certain things went down. Certain things involving Bear’s alcoholic ex-wife Debbie and the start of Bear’s relationship with Richard. But the past can’t be changed, only remembered and studied.

As Richard fights for his life, Bear reflects on the last thirty years of their entwined lives. College days, his shotgun wedding to Debbie, his unexpected feelings for Richard, and the proudest moment of Bear’s life: the birth of his son Gabriel. Bear’s life with Richard is woven with love, heartache, regret, joy, and everything else in between. They’ve overcome every obstacle that’s come their way, and they’ll overcome this new illness, too. Period. Bear simply isn’t ready to live his life without Richard in it.


Note: This is the fourth book in my Perspectives series, and while it can be read as a standalone, readers will have a much richer concept of these characters if you’ve at least read book two, The World As He Sees It. Warnings for spousal abuse (not between the two heroes) and cheating.

Monday, April 24, 2017

New Release: Sound of Us (Us #2)

It took silly me three days to remember to write this post, and I have no idea why. Maybe I did it in my head and then forgot to do it in real life? I do that all the time with emails I read on my phone. Anywho....

Sound of Us (Us #2) is now available on Amazon and in Kindle Unlimited. My experience of having the Us series in KU has been overwhelmingly positive, but as I promised with Here For Us, once the initial 3 month run is finished, I'm going to make this book available on all vendors for a short amount of time. So don't worry, Kobo fans! You'll be able to read them this summer.

In so many ways, Sound of Us truly is a continuation of the same story that I began in Here For Us. Even as that book closed in on 90k words, I knew the triad's story was nowhere near finished. So many dangling threads between these men needed to be resolved, new intimacies needed to be forged, and that's probably why I started writing this almost immediately after I finished HFU. I needed to finish the story. 

And I had a lot of fun doing so. This is definitely my sexiest book to date, but every single scene was character and relationship driven. These men absolutely led this book, and I had no issue following their lead to a stronger, more fully-formed HEA. I was also happy to delve a bit deeper into Dell's background, and I can't wait to explore him more fully in his own book.

Thank you, readers, for following along on this unexpected m/m/m journey.


Jake Bowden didn’t expect to be settling into a strong, loving relationship with another guy at only twenty-three years old—never mind with two. His chemistry with Cris is as strong as ever, while things with Charles are more like a simmer than a heavy boil. Charles says he’s perfectly content to go at Jake’s pace, but Jake isn’t sure slow is what he wants anymore. And when Jake wants something, he isn’t shy about going after it.

Cris Sable is head-over-heels in love with the two men in his life, and he’s vowed to do everything he can to protect the fragile, three-way relationship they’re cultivating—even if it means lying about his past. A dark past that resurfaces in an unexpected way and forces Cris to make the difficult choice between shielding Jake and Charles from it, or trusting them enough to help him face it head-on.

Charles Greenwood had forgotten what it felt like to be loved, until a feisty go-go boy and an ex-porn star fell into his bed, and then stole his heart away. He loves both men equally, but differently, slowly stoking the fire of the chemistry he shares with Jake, while passionately pursuing Cris—both in and out of bed. Their lives are entwining in the very best way…until Cris starts to pull away, distancing himself from the loving support of their triad. And after Cris disappears one night on a drunken bender, Charles vows to do whatever it takes to prove to Cris that he can trust them with anything—mind, body and spirit.

Three separate hearts will finally beat as one.


Note: This is the continuation of an m/m/m romance begun in Here For Us and is best read in order to fully enjoy the character and story development. The book also contains mild BDSM elements, including spanking.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sound of Us: Chapter One



Chapter One

“I want to move back to my apartment.”

Cris Sable fumbled the bowl he was putting into the dishwasher. It slipped from his fingers and cracked against another bowl he’d already lined up in the top rack. Instead of checking to see if he’d broken one of Chet’s dishes, he turned to look at the man who’d uttered the unexpected statement.

One of his boyfriends, Jake Bowden, watched him from the other side of the kitchen island, his brown eyes wide with a combination of apprehension and determination.

“You what?” Cris said, even though he’d heard Jake clearly the first time.

Jake chewed on his bottom lip, then took a breath. “I want to move back to Benny’s apartment. I mean, the whole reason Chet brought me here was so you guys could help me with my bipolar, and it’s been a month, so….” His determination bled away, leaving only fear. “Are you mad?”

“Of course not.” Cris wiped his hands on a towel, then circled the island to stand by Jake. He dwarfed the younger man by six inches and lots of muscle, but something about Jake’s big heart made Cris feel very small sometimes. “Chet never put a time limit on you living here.”

“I know, but I feel like I’m taking advantage by staying now that I’m making progress. Plus I…I need to know I can do this on my own.”

Cris had no counter-argument for that. He understood Jake’s need to be independent again, after leaning on Cris and Chet for the better part of five weeks. Jake’s bipolar disorder was being managed with medication and weekly therapy sessions. He’d gone back to work go-go dancing at a gay bar named Big Dick’s. And he was easing into the complications of being part of a three-man relationship.

All three of them were, both in and out of the bedroom. Jake was still dealing with the side effects of his medications, and he was extremely sensitive about his temporary erectile dysfunction, so physical affection between the three of them had remained limited to blow jobs and rubbing off.

Jake moving out of the house and back into his shared apartment was an empowering move for him. Intellectually, Cris understood that. His heart hated the idea of Jake being a fifteen minute drive away. “I think moving out is very brave,” Cris said. “Selfishly, I don’t want you to go, because I like waking up with you every morning, but I do understand why you want to do this.”

Jake visibly relaxed, then leaned into Cris’s broad chest. Cris looped both arms around Jake’s waist, absorbing the heat of his boyfriend’s lean body. “Thank you,” Jake said. “I like sleeping and waking up with you guys, too, but this is something I really need to do.”

“I know.” He rested his chin on the top of Jake’s head. “On the plus side, you’ll be close to work again.”

“Very true. I think I use your car more than you do.” Jake’s apartment was only a seven block walk to the club, versus Chet’s house in the suburbs, which required a car ride across the river to get back and forth. Jake had never owned a car, so he usually borrowed Cris’s.

Being a programmer meant Cris could work anywhere, as long as he had his laptop and earbuds. The car was simply a relic from his old life that he’d never managed to part with. He’d drive it until it died.

“Have you called Benny about moving back?” Cris asked.

“Not yet, but I paid him my share of the rent on the first, so the room’s still mine.”

“Do you know when you want to leave?”

Jake huffed. “I don’t want to leave, but I do think this is the right call. I’ve thought about it for a while, and I even talked to Dr. Englade about it, so this isn’t the same kind of impulsive, dumb decision I used to make.”

Cris loved that Jake had consulted his therapist and put thought into the matter, but he also couldn’t resist teasing him. “Impulsive, huh? Like pretending to steal my wallet after the first night we had sex, because you were so attracted to me it scared you into pushing me away?”

“You’re never letting me live that down, are you?”

“Honey, I will tell that story to our grandchildren.”

Jake stiffened in his arms; Cris realized what he’d said and how it probably sounded.
“Metaphorical grandchildren,” Cris amended.

Damage done. Jake wiggled out of his arms, uncertainty etched all over his face. “Do you want kids?”

Okay, this was not a conversation Cris was prepared to have on a Thursday morning. “I’m not against the idea of kids, but I’ve never sat down and dreamed of a life with them in it. Maybe a little bit when I first started dating Lily, but not since.”

Lily had been the first person he’d dated who’d completely accepted his bisexuality, and Cris had fallen in love quickly. Loving her had been the best six months of his life—until he confessed to his former side job filming gay porn. He hadn’t filmed a scene since they became exclusive, but she had still freaked, refused any explanation, and left him heartbroken. He’d dealt with his own bout of depression after that, quitting porn completely, shutting out everyone except his best friend Taro Ichikawa.

Taro had pulled him out of it, and Cris had returned to porn again for two more years, before officially resigning a few weeks ago. Cris never would have been able to date Chet while Chet was still his boss. They planned to film Cris’s official retirement video for the website this weekend.

“Besides,” Cris said, “there are still too many religious nutjobs who froth at the mouth over gay couples adopting kids. I can only imagine the epic freak-out of a threesome wanting to adopt.”

“True.”

Cris didn’t want to talk about this anymore. He never should have made the dumb joke about grandkids, so he redirected to Jake’s announcement. “Have you told Chet about you leaving yet? Or did you use me as a sounding board?”

Jake crossed his arms and leaned against the island. “I wanted to tell you first. I kind of feel like Chet’s going to follow your lead, and you’re being super chill about this.”

“That’s because I love you, and I want you to be happy. If moving out for a while is what you need, I’ll support it. It’s what boyfriends do. As long as Benny doesn’t mind sleepovers once in a while.”

“I doubt he’ll care.” Jake’s dark eyes went wide. “Fuck, what if Chet wants to stay over? Wouldn’t that be weird? I mean, the only person who knows we’re all dating is Dell.”

Dell Greenwood was Chet’s nephew, as well as his director of photography for the porn studio in the basement. The only reason Dell was in on the secret was because he lived at the house, too, and he’d witnessed the entire complicated process of their threesome finding their way to each other.

“We’ll figure it all out,” Cris said. “But maybe we should figure it out with Chet, since he’s one third of this.”

“Figure what out with Chet?” Proving himself a man of impeccable timing, Chet Green strode into the kitchen from the foyer archway. He’d eaten breakfast with them in his pajamas, which was rare, so he’d gone upstairs to shower and dress, while Jake and Cris cleaned up from the meal.
Chet could make the dirtiest rags look sexy as fuck. Almost as tall as Cris, but with a leaner, swimmer’s body, Chet wore a blue polo and khakis like it was the finest three-piece suit. His silver-spackled hair was styled perfectly, and even though he’d turned forty-eight this past spring, you’d never guess he was older than thirty-nine.

Chet stopped an arm’s reach from Jake and frowned. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong,” Cris said. “But this is something that involves all three of us, so I’m glad you’re here.”

“All right.”

Jake swallowed hard before facing Chet. “I want to move back to Benny’s apartment for a while, so I can prove I can function on my own and manage my meds, and that all of my progress isn’t going to go away if you guys aren’t here twenty-four-seven to prop me up.”

Chet’s frown softened into a fond smile. “I think that’s a very mature decision, Jake.”

“You do?”

“Very much so. In fact, I’ve been struggling with a way to bring this up myself.”

Jake edged backward a step. “You want me to leave?”

“Quite the opposite.” Chet invaded Jake’s personal space, trapping Jake between the island and his taller body. He hunched down to meet Jake’s eyes and planted both hands on the countertop behind Jake. “I love you here, in my house and in my bed. But I brought you here knowing it was temporary, and now that you’re managing your illness, you need to start managing your life again.”

“Yeah,” Jake said.

“So if you leave, I want you to leave knowing you will always be welcome back.”

“Thank you.” Jake’s lips curled into a sexy smirk. “Plus, us living in different places means we can go on, like, real dates. You and me don’t really do a lot, you know, just the two of us.”

“That’s true, and we can most certainly manage dates. I’d love to spend time with you outside of this house.”

“But what about other people knowing that all three of us are dating?” He squirmed enough that Chet stepped back, giving him space.

“What about it?” Chet asked. “Even if the three of us went out to a meal in a nice restaurant, no one would know we were together unless we began swapping kisses at the table.”

The mental image of the three of them dressed up and making out in a fancy restaurant made Cris’s dick twitch. He’d never do it, but goddamn, he wanted to publicly claim these two amazing, passionate men as his, and no one else’s.

“I guess.” Jake didn’t sound happy about the idea of their threesome being discovered, and that hurt a little bit.

“Are you embarrassed to be dating two men at once?” Cris asked.

“Not really. I mean, it isn’t that I’m embarrassed by you guys. It’s just that this is so…abnormal.”
Cris flinched.

“Shit, that’s the wrong word.” Jake pushed away from the counter and stalked to the kitchen table. Grabbed the back of a chair but didn’t turn around. “Chet explained polyamory to me and I get it. I do. But not everyone else will. Most people won’t.”

“That didn’t seem to be an issue when we started this weeks ago,” Cris said, confused by this new hesitation in Jake. And frustrated by talking to his back. “Will you look at us, please?”

Jake turned, arms crossed, a familiar look of defiance on his face.

“I think I understand,” Chet said. “Jake leaving moves this relationship outside of these four walls. It’s no longer protected. No longer hidden from outside scrutiny and criticism.”

“But that’s going to happen at some point,” Cris said. “We can’t hide forever, and we shouldn’t have to.” They’d already been hiding for weeks, and all Cris wanted to do was shout to the rooftops about how lucky he was.

“I know that, okay?” Jake snapped. “I just…I’m a go-go dancer, you know? People hear that and automatically assume I’m some kind of slut, so what will they think if they know I’m seeing two guys at once? Uber-slut dancer, aisle threesome?”

“You know you aren’t a slut, so why does it matter so much what other people think?”

Jake took three strides forward, hands balled at his sides, unexpected anger blazing in his eyes. “That’s easy for you to say. You’re this big, buff dude who can shut people up with a glare, and you’re comfortable with people looking at you. You did porn, for fuck’s sake. And maybe I dance half-naked for money, but that doesn’t mean I want people staring at my personal life and dissecting it. It’s too private for that.”

Cris frowned. “Just because I did porn doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with people getting up in my personal life either. Why the hell do you think I used a stage name? Yeah, I showed off my naked body, but Dane wasn’t me, Jake. Internet subscribers don’t get the real me. You guys do.”

“So if you don’t want people up in our business, either, why don’t you get what I’m saying?” Jake was coiled tight, one wrong word away from bursting into tears.

Cris had to fix this. “I do get what you’re saying. I guess I see our relationship differently. I don’t see it as this weird, bizarre thing that people are going to examine under a microscope like we’re a new strain of bacteria. I’m so goddamn proud to be with both of you, and I want to show it. I want people to know you guys are mine and that I love you. I can’t do that if we’re hiding in this house.”

A single tear slipped down Jake’s cheek, and the sight of it broke Cris’s heart a little bit. He swept Jake into his arms, grateful that Jake didn’t struggle or protest the hug. “I’m sorry,” Cris whispered. “I’m sorry that I can’t say the right thing, I’m sorry.”

“You said the right thing,” Jake said into his armpit. “I’m the emotional mess who gets weepy over the way you say ‘I love you’.”

“I don’t ever want to make you scared or uncomfortable to be around me in public.”

“I’m not.” Jake lifted his head, eyes still wet but clear. “Deciding to move out was such a big decision for me that I didn’t think about what that would mean for us, the three of us, in terms of seeing each other on the outside. We’ve been isolated since we started living together, and fucking around together, and I know that bubble can’t last, but I’m fucking terrified to expose myself.”

“It’s perfectly acceptable to be scared,” Chet said. He slung an arm around each of their necks, completing their triad of support. “Jake, your life has altered dramatically in the last few weeks. Learning to live with bipolar is no small thing. Managing one romantic relationship is difficult for anyone, but two at once? It’s a monumental undertaking. And this thing we’re doing now? Us talking about our fears and insecurities? It’s what will make this work, no matter what life throws at us.”

“I like the sound of us.” Jake rested his head on Chet’s shoulder. “But I also need to figure out me. Me living with bipolar. Me with you. Me with Cris. Me with other people. It’s just so much.

“We’re both here for you, love. Whatever you need.”

“We are,” Cris said, heart swelling with emotion. He’d do whatever had to do, slay whatever dragons needed slaying, in order to protect these men.

“It’s so stupid,” Jake said. “Sometimes I don’t know if these freak-outs are legit, or if it’s because of the disease, and I’m heading for a hypomanic state again.”

“It isn’t stupid,” Chet replied. “You have a long way to go before you’ll be able to see the differences between mania and legitimate anxiety or excitement. But you’ll get there.”

“It’s easier to believe when you say it.”

Cris bit back a joke about himself being less trustworthy than Chet, because now wasn’t the time. “I know patience isn’t your strong suit,” Cris said to Jake, “but give yourself time to get used to your new normal, okay? I might want to show you off to the world, but I can be patient, too, and wait until you’re ready.”

“Thank you. You’re ready to run out into the big, wide world, but I still need baby steps. Maybe a hand to hold and verbal encouragement to keep me going once in a while.”

“Anytime.” Cris kissed his cheek. “Are we good?”

“Of course we are, you big dork.”

Using his very best nasal tone, Cris snapped back with, “I know you are, but what am I?”

Jake nearly fell over laughing. In some burst of evil genius, last weekend Chet had marathoned Pee-wee Herman movies, starting with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. After Jake got over the sheer ridiculousness of the film, he hooted his way through most of it. And he’d been the first to use the infamous line on Cris yesterday, when Cris called Jake a little dork.

Cris loved that they kind of had their own way of teasing each other.

“I’m going to regret ever showing you those movies, aren’t I?” Chet asked as Jake tried to pull himself together.

“Yes,” Cris said at the same time Jake managed, “Never.”

“Not to ruin the euphoria of the moment,” Chet said, “but when were you planning to move out, Jake?”

Jake wiped his streaming eyes on the back of his hand. “Um, I’m not sure. It’s not like I have a lot to move. My whole life fits into a duffel bag.”

Something flickered in Chet’s eyes, as it frequently did when Jake referenced money, even indirectly. Jake had ended up homeless at twenty and couch surfed for a while, until lucking into both a job and an apartment share. For the last three years, he’d pinched every penny and lived in a way that allowed him to pick up and go at a moment’s nice.

Chet, on the other hand, had cash coming out of his ears, thanks to his shares in a lucrative investment company in Los Angeles. He’d moved to Pennsylvania ten years ago, in order to start over, and that’s when he’d hatched the idea for his gay porn site, Mean Green Boys. The majority of the money went to his models, because Chet didn’t need it. He lived a modest lifestyle, too, and it was one of the things Cris loved most about him. Chet was generous with what he had, because he knew what it was like to have nothing.

If Jake stayed here with Chet, he’d never want for anything, but Jake needed to prove his independence first. He’d taken care of himself for too long to become trapped in a relationship with no viable escape options. They all understood that, which made Jake moving out less painful than it otherwise might have been.

“I mean, I guess I could go anytime,” Jake said, uncertain again. “It’s not like I can’t dump my stuff and come back, or whatever.”

“You are free to come and go as you please,” Chet said. “The key I gave you is yours to keep.”

Jake’s surprise melted into gentle affection—a specific look he often directed at Chet. They were still defining the boundaries their personal relationship, but every time Jake looked at Chet like that—and Chet at Jake in return—Cris knew it wouldn’t be long before they took the next step in furthering their sexual relationship.

“Thank you,” Jake said. “I’ll probably still call or text first, to make sure someone’s home, but thank you.”

“My pleasure.” Chet’s eyebrows dipped, and he looked at Cris with a frown. “Are you returning to your apartment as well?”

Cris’s stomach bottomed out. He’d moved in the same day as Jake, with the same goal—get Jake well. And he’d done that. He’d also fallen in love with Chet, and he very much loved living with him. Sleeping with him. Eating and watching TV and snacking on popcorn with him. As much as he’d once enjoyed his solitary existence…Cris didn’t want his empty apartment anymore.

“I hadn’t really thought about it,” Cris said. “We were all so focused on Jake.”

Jake squeezed his wrist. “Please don’t think you have to leave because I am. I mean, unless Chet wants his house back. But I won’t be mad or jealous if you stay, I swear.”

“Are you sure? I mean, it would feel weird being here without you, but…” He glanced at Chet, who had his heart in his eyes. “I do love it here. You and Dell are family.”

“I feel the same way,” Chet said, a heavy rasp in his voice. “About you, Cristian, and you as well, Jake. You’re both family now.”

Anxiety rippled down Cris’s spine. This was a huge step, one he’d never imagined taking all those weeks ago, when living here had been a temporary solution. But he also couldn’t make himself say it first. “So what exactly do you mean when you say family?”

Chet smiled. “It means that if you wish to, I want you to move here. Permanently. Break your lease. Make this your home. If there are expenses, I’m happy to cover them. I want you here, Cristian, if this is where you want to be.”

“It is. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Cris didn’t anticipate Chet’s fierce hug, and it nearly knocked him over. He clung to Chet, laughing along with him at the huge step Cris was making in his personal life. He’d never lived with a romantic partner before, not even Lily, so this was going to be an interesting adjustment. But he wanted this to work more than he’d wanted anything in his life.

It also terrified him deep down, where he hid the worst of his past. The parts he’d fled Long Island to escape, along with his late sister Grace. The parts he’d had plastic surgery and changed his name to ensure could never find him again. He’d die if his past came back to hurt Chet or Jake.

Chet kissed Cris soundly, a firm press of lips and tongue, before taking a step back. His cheeks were flushed, his pale eyes glistening. “You’ve made me so incredibly happy today, you have no idea.”

“I’m happy too,” Cris replied. “Nervous, but happy.”

“Why nervous?”

“I haven’t lived with another person since I was eighteen. Ten years is a long time to be a lone wolf.”

“Trust me, I understand. I’d lived alone for a very long time before Dell moved in. It took some adjusting on my part, and now I can’t imagine him not being in my life. The same goes for you, and when he’s ready to come back, Jake, too.”

Jake had inched away from them, probably giving them space to share their moment, but he was too far away. Cris slid an arm around his waist and tugged him closer, needing him there. “We’ll make this work. All three of us.”

“Of course we will,” Chet said. “There’s no choice but to make it work.”

“You two make it sound so easy,” Jake said.

“I have no illusions it will be easy, love. No relationship is easy. There will likely be disagreements, perhaps even fights. But I think the final results will be worth the temporary pain. And as we’ve all agreed, our best defense against this falling apart is communication. Between all three of us.” Chet pinned Cris with a firm look. “No more secrets.”

Cris’s belly wobbled. He knew Chet wasn’t referencing Cris’s past; Chet meant the kidney secret. Months ago, Dell had been living in kidney failure. Cris had shared the same rare blood type as Dell, so he anonymously donated a kidney in order to save Dell’s life. He hadn’t told anyone except Taro, and then Jake stumbled over the information by accident. When Chet discovered the secret a few weeks ago, he’d been incredibly hurt. Not by the donation, but because Cris hadn’t been honest with him at the start of their relationship.

He didn’t want to keep secrets anymore, but not even Taro knew the full truth of Cris’s past—not because he didn’t trust Taro. He did. No, Cris’s past was his past, and he’d nailed that door shut a long time ago.
“No more secrets,” Cris lied. “Promise.”

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sound of Us (Us #2): Cover, Blurb and Release Date

The sequel to last month's HERE FOR US is coming soon to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited! Releasing April 21, 2017, the triad is back as Cris, Jake and Charles navigate what it means to be in a three-way relationship. I'll have pre-order links when it goes live.


Jake Bowden didn’t expect to be settling into a strong, loving relationship with another guy at only twenty-three years old—never mind with two. His chemistry with Cris is as strong as ever, while things with Charles are more like a simmer than a heavy boil. Charles says he’s perfectly content to go at Jake’s pace, but Jake isn’t sure slow is what he wants anymore. And when Jake wants something, he isn’t shy about going after it.

Cris Sable is head-over-heels in love with the two men in his life, and he’s vowed to do everything he can to protect the fragile, three-way relationship they’re cultivating—even if it means lying about his past. A dark past that resurfaces in an unexpected way and forces Cris to make the difficult choice between shielding Jake and Charles from it, or trusting them enough to help him face it head-on.

Charles Greenwood had forgotten what it felt like to be loved, until a feisty go-go boy and an ex-porn star fell into his bed, and then stole his heart away. He loves both men equally, but differently, slowly stoking the fire of the chemistry he shares with Jake, while passionately pursuing Cris—both in and out of bed. Their lives are entwining in the very best way…until Cris starts to pull away, distancing himself from the loving support of their triad. And after Cris disappears one night on a drunken bender, Charles vows to do whatever it takes to prove to Cris that he can trust them with anything—mind, body and spirit.

Three separate hearts will finally beat as one.


Note: This is the continuation of an m/m/m romance begun in Here For Us and is best read in order to fully enjoy the character and story development. The book also contains mild BDSM elements, including spanking.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Here For Us: Thoughts on Release Day

Here For Us, the book I never imagined I'd write, is finally here.



Back in the summer/fall of 2015, after I'd turned in the first draft of The Heart As He Hears It (Perspectives #3), I started thinking about what I'd write for Perspectives 4. I wanted to write about Dane/Cristian, who'd shared a number of scenes with Heart's hero Jon and who seemed really interesting. I also wanted to pair him with Jon's reticent roommate Jake. So I did. I wrote the first chapter and part of chapter two....and then I got stuck. I had no idea where the story was going from there. So I put it down and wrote other things. I didn't give the started story a lot of thought, especially  not after the first Samhain "closure," because I figured the series was shelved for a while.

Until the fall of 2016, when a reader asked, "What about Chet?" Chet was the producer of Mean Green Boys, the porn studio featured throughout the Perspectives books. He's older, settled, and took his nephew in after an incident with illegal drugs. Chet was a nurturer, but a romance hero? What? Except...it made sense. And I was in the middle of writing my first m/m/m romance, Hot Licks, so I started to ponder adding him to the Cristian/Jake dynamic. 

And suddenly I had a story. Cristian and Jake didn't work alone. They needed Chet in the mix. They needed to be a threesome. And this was no longer a Perspectives book, because this wasn't going to be a single title starring these three--they were a spin-off. I started writing this book again on October 23, and finished it on December 19. Two months and roughly 94,000 words later, and I had a draft. 

I also immediately began writing the sequel, Sound of Us, on December 28. These characters latched onto my mind and didn't let go for months, and I regret nothing. Here For Us was a joy to write, and I'm so excited to be sharing it with readers. I'm also excited to be dipping my toes into the world of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited. 

To celebrate the book's release, IndiGo Marketing has put together a fabulous Book Blitz. Please check it out for a chance to win a $25 e-gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Perspectives Now in Kindle Unlimited


My three Perspectives series books have been re-published on Amazon through my indie imprint Briggs-King books. The books were not changed in any way, except for the necessary copyright alterations. No additional story content was added, so folks who've already bought the books do not have to buy them again.

They are also available to borrow in Kindle Unlimited for the first time! New buy/borrow links are below.

The Truth As He Knows It
The World As He Sees It
The Heart As He Hears It

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

First NSFW Chapter: Here For Us (Us #1)

Only ten more days before Here For Us lands on your e-readers! I'm so excited for this book to finally come out. To get you revved up for it, here's a very NSFW first chapter of my forthcoming March/May/September menage romance. Enjoy!




Chapter One

I need to fucking get laid.

The thought followed Cris Sable through the heavy industrial door that hid the throbbing interior of Big Dick’s, the most popular gay nightclub in Harrisburg. The place was hard to find if you didn’t know where it was, or if you didn’t know the big muscle bear sitting by the entrance was a bouncer. Cris hadn’t been to the club in over a year, mostly by choice, but tonight he needed something.

Definitely a drink, although he’d have to limit himself now that he was functioning with one kidney. And, if possible, he wanted to leave with a willing ass to fuck. It had been a long dry spell.
A dry spell of his own making, but still, a guy had needs, and he wasn’t looking to get his needs met by a woman tonight. Tonight he needed dick.

He eased his way over to the bar and ordered a margarita on the rocks. Something he could work his way through slowly. The club was in full swing, bodies gyrating on the dance floor, men dry humping their way through the evening. Soon early morning. At the rear of the dance floor, six go-go dancers were on risers, each decked out in one color of the rainbow. Barely-there briefs in a solid color, sparkle body paint all over their chests and legs, and some dancers even had colorful streaks in their hair. Monday was theme night for the go-go dancers, which explained why there were so many. On the other nights of the week that Cris had visited, the club usually only had three dancers.

Cris zeroed in on the dancer in blue. He loved the color blue, and this kid was pretty fucking hot in a royal blue thong, with blue swirls across his pecs and shoulders. Something kind of tribal and arty. He spun around to shake his ass, showing off very taut blue-painted cheeks. Even from the distance, he was cute. The kind of cute Cris liked to wrangle around in bed and fuck through the mattress.

Occasionally, a hand would rise from the crowd with money in it, and the blue dancer squatted low enough for the money to be tucked away in their underwear. Very strip club-esque, but Big Dick’s had a strict policy about not touching the dancers for longer than it took to tip them.

He scanned the other dancers’ faces and froze solid at the guy at the end. Despite the yellow paint, Cris knew that nearly naked body intimately enough to see past the costume and recognize Colby. Not his real name, and Cris didn’t know what it was, but they’d filmed together at Mean Green Boys roughly two years ago. Colby was only with the company for a few months before he quit to be with his boyfriend.

Cris had been intensely jealous at the time. At twenty-eight years old, he’d failed to find and maintain a serious relationship for longer than six months. And even that relationship had imploded when she found out he did gay porn. Okay, so he shouldn’t have kept that a secret for so long. He’d been so damned happy to find someone who understood and accepted he was bisexual that he’d been scared to destroy it too soon by admitting to the porn.

But secrets never did a relationship any good, and Lily had dumped his ass hard.

He’d taken a two year hiatus from porn after that, hoping to try and rebuild his flailing love life, before returning to Mean Green. The studio owner, Chet Green, was one of his closest friends—hence the very secret reason for his single remaining kidney.

“Hello, gorgeous.” A slinky number in leather pants and a silver mesh shirt slid up to Cris at the bar. Cute, kohl-lined eyes, plump lips that promised they knew how to suck a dick.

Cris grinned. “Who, me?”

“Oh, honey, we both know you’re the sexiest thing in the club tonight.” A warm arm draped over his shoulders. “Name’s Luke.”

“Cris.”

“Hmm, I think you look more like a Vincent.”

Cris tensed. No fucking way could this random guy know who he was. There was no hint of malice in his easy grin, no sign the name was anything other than a really good guess. Cris came from an Italian family from Long Island, and the genes were pretty strong. He’d rid himself of his identifying accent years ago, though, thank Christ.

“Or Vincenzo, or Anthony,” the kid said, oblivious to Cris’s racing thoughts.

“Well, it’s Cris.” Rude, fine, but he’d lost any interest in Luke. Cristian Sable was his identity now. “See you around.”

Cris pushed away from the bar and eased his way into the crowd occupying the fringes of the dance floor. A few blatant offers came his way, but Cris turned them all down. He didn’t realize he’d inched closer to the risers and his blue dancer until the guy was less than ten feet away.
Blue had a face that was both easygoing and sharp. He was enjoying himself without totally letting his guard down. And he was hella cute. Fuckable for sure.

Bodies danced frenetically all around him, allowing Cris to stay close to the wall and shift nearer to Blue. Someone held up a bill between two fingers. Blue wiggled his hips and squatted low so the money could be tucked into his g-string. The triangle of blue material held a very promising package for a smaller guy.

Blue blew a kiss to his patron, then spun in an ass-wiggling circle. His dark gaze roamed the crowd, then paused on Cris. An unexpected thrill shot through him. Some sort of instinctive acknowledgement of the man on the stage, as if they’d been waiting to meet. Blue held eye contact; Cris drew out a long, lazy smile. Blue cocked his head, winked, and then kept dancing. Cris stayed in his spot. Every few minutes, Blue glanced his way. Right into his eyes.

Target acquired.

The dancers came and went from the risers, likely taking breaks in between sets. When Blue winked again and disappeared, Cris had half a mind to try and find him. Except he didn’t work at the club, and he had no real excuse to get backstage. Cris sipped his watered-down margarita and watched the eye candy on display. The gorgeous men, the throbbing music, and the heady scents of sweat and sex worked their magic on Cris, and he was half-hard by the time a brown-haired kid with a smear of blue under both eyes sidled up next to him.

Cris studied the familiar face, now scrubbed clean except for those two very appealing smudges. His hair maintained hints of blue glitter. He’d covered that amazing body with jeans and a white sleeveless tee, but this was Cris’s dancer. Blue.

“You off the clock?” Cris asked.

“Yup.” He grabbed Cris’s glass and finished it off with a smirk that did funny things to Cris’s balls. “Damn, I think I owe you a drink.”

He laughed. “Cris.”

“Jake.” He snagged Cris’s belt and tugged him toward the bar.

The forwardness was a huge fucking turn on, and Cris’s cock was at full mast by the time they reached the bar. An older man in a sparkly vest smiled at them.

“Two margaritas on the rocks,” Jake said. “My tab.”

“On it,” the bartender said.

Cris rested one hand on Jake’s lower back, and he was surprised by the tiny thrill that vibrated up his arm. Jake pressed into his touch, eyelids fluttering as if he’d felt something similar. Cris leaned in to whisper in his ear, “Blue is my favorite color.”

Jake looked up, big brown eyes glimmering with mischief. “Oh yeah?”

“Definitely. It looks good on you.”

“Know what else would look good on me?”

Cris saw the flirty line coming, but he played along. “What’s that?”

“You.”

He nuzzled Jake’s ear with his nose. “I agree.”

The bartender slid their drinks over. Jake gulped his, while Cris only sipped. And studied his future sex partner. A good six inches shorter than him, and slimmer all over. Dance-honed muscles. Tight jeans that did nothing to hide his erection. A very One Direction boyish hotness about him that made Cris want to fuck him senseless.

“I’d ask if you want to dance,” Jake said, “but you didn’t bust a move all night.”

“Not much of a dancer.”

“No good?”

“I’m plenty good.” Cris put a little leer into those words. “But I don’t like using dancing as foreplay. I’d rather play in private.”

Jake pressed his hard dick against Cris’s thigh, amusement dancing in his eyes. His voice was crazy sexy in a way that Cris couldn’t describe, but he liked it. “So I’m guessing you aren’t a fan of the bathroom with the favors?”

Big Dick’s had two bathrooms for its patrons, and rumor had it that the bathroom on the left had a bowl of condoms and lube sachets for patrons. Folks interested in a quick—and safe—fuck with a stranger. The bathroom on the right was for regular business.

“Nope.” Cris slid his hand from Jake’s lower back to grab his ass. “I prefer a nice big bed where I can have my way with someone for a few hours. Upright in a bathroom stall is over too fast.”

Jake swallowed hard, his cheeks pinking up. “Sounds like an adventure.”

“You up for it?”

“What do you think?” He ground his dick into Cris’s thigh. “Think I’m up for it?”

“I might need more convincing.”

Jake grabbed at Cris’s erection and squeezed, the contact sending happy sparklers down Cris’s spine. He really liked Jake touching him. “I’d suck you right here but Richard frowns on public displays of fellatio.”

Cris didn’t know who Richard was, and he didn’t care. Owner or manager, probably. His only priority was getting Jake naked in his bed. He pushed his mostly full glass away. “Then let’s get out of here before you get in trouble with your boss.”

Jake gulped his margarita, then plunked his glass on the bar. “Lead the way.”

He did.

The cool night air did nothing to ease his throbbing dick, nor did the long walk to his car. Jake kept close, their arms brushing, but otherwise not touching. The city was still alive and well all around them, and while Cris was big and imposing enough that few people ever bothered him, Jake walked with purpose. Aware of everyone they passed. He’d danced the exact same way: wary of the world.
Cris silently promised to help Jake forget those shadows that made him walk through life like it would turn against him at any moment. Even if only for a few hours.

The instant they were in his car and Cris had it aimed toward his apartment, Jake reached over and undid his fly. Stunned at the kid’s brazenness, Cris didn’t protest. He kept three-quarters of his attention on the road, while the rest watched—and felt—Jake tug his dick out of his boxer-briefs. Jake’s touch felt like a brand on already sensitive skin.

“Uncut,” Jake whispered. “Very nice.”

Cris’s pulse raced at the compliment. Most of the chicks he’d slept with had been initially turned off by his foreskin. They were used to seeing cut dicks. Dudes were way more appreciative.

Jake played with his dick, sliding the foreskin in a slow, lazy way that barely kept Cris from driving them into a telephone pole. Jake kept hold the entire ten minute drive, a long descent into madness that nearly had Cris demanding Jake suck him off already. His orgasm teetered on the edge without getting close enough to tip him over.

He pulled into the underground parking and into a space between two SUV’s. The vehicles would provide great camouflage for a blow job, but Jake proved just how sadistic he was by letting go. He flashed Cris a wicked grin. Wicked and challenging.

This is going to be fun.

Cris tucked himself back in, which was not an easy feat thanks to Jake’s teasing. Even in the privacy of the elevator, Jake stayed hands-off. Cris led him down the corridor to his apartment, unlocked it, and let them inside.

The moment he locked the door behind them, Jake spun and yanked his head down. The faint taste of lime and tequila filled Cris’s mouth. A very insistent tongue stroked past his lips, teasing and seeking. The spark was immediate and dizzying, electric everywhere they touched.

Cris spun them. He pushed Jake against the door, holding him there with a thigh between his legs. Jake humped his thigh while he devoured his mouth with a very talented tongue that Cris couldn’t wait to feel against his dick.

The desperate kiss softened by degrees. Cris dragged his lips along Jake’s jaw, tasting sweat and soap, then down to nibble at his earlobe. Jake shoved his hands past Cris’s belt to grab both cheeks. The small huffs and groans encouraged Cris to play with Jake’s ear some more. Suck the lobe. Lick the delicate shell.

“Fuck,” Jake said.

Cris chuckled. “Soon.”

“Bed.”

That he could do. He untangled them, grabbed Jake’s wrist, and led him across the small living room to the single bedroom. Flipped the light on. Jake gazed around. Cris wasn’t big on useless objects, so the room had furniture and a mirror. A lamp. A TV and blue-ray player. Little else beyond some dirty clothes he hadn’t put in the hamper.

Cris fished a condom and lube out of the nightstand and tossed them up near the pillows. Jake followed their trajectory, then toed off his sneakers. Cris did the same, shucking his clothes as expediently as possible, because hot, cute boy. Near his bed. Also getting naked fast.

This was the fun kind of sex. Chemistry, intent, no cameras or director reminding him not to block the come shot. Cris had every intention of coming inside Jake tonight.

Before Cris could haul Jake in for another kiss, Jake dropped to his knees and licked up the length of Cris’s cock. The slick touch spread a wonderful warmth through his belly and chest, that only intensified when Jake nibbled on his foreskin. He bit and played until Cris almost couldn’t stand it, before sucking him down onto wet heat.

“Fuck.” Cris sifted his fingers through Jake’s soft hair, holding on without hurting, because damn. Jake’s tongue dragged up and down the underside of Cris’s cock, an amazing sensation that made Cris’s eyes want to roll back in his head. Except he couldn’t stop watching Jake. His stretched lips and hollowed cheeks. The intense way Jake went about blowing him. Cris could watch this all day long and never tire of it.

He’d never been so mesmerized by a sex partner sucking him as he was with Jake, and he didn’t ponder the meaning behind that. Only that holy damn, it felt good.

Too much, too fast had Cris’s orgasm teetering too close. He nudged Jake off, then ran a thumb over his glistening lips. “Your turn. On the bed.”

Jake grinned, licked his thumb, and then did as told. He spread out on his back, hands behind his head, so perfectly wanton that Cris wanted to devour him. To lick every inch of skin, tease every curve and plane of muscle. He also desperately wanted in that taut little ass, and that took priority over exploration tonight.

Maybe Jake would be up for a repeat.

Cris knelt between his spread legs, admiring the boy on his bed. He rubbed his palms up Jake’s legs, from calf to thigh, enjoying the perfectly smooth skin. The way muscles jumped beneath his touch. Jake’s cock lay flat against his stomach, long and hard with a lovely mushroom head. Fun to play with and play Cris did. Licking around the glans, nibbling up and down the shaft, nosing at the root. Putting Jake’s scent and taste everywhere.

Jake’s thighs trembled. Hands in Cris’s hair kept trying to direct him, get him to suck already, but Cris was stronger. He flattened Jake’s hands to the bed on either side of Jake’s hips, then returned to his oral assault until Jake started cussing at him.

He looked up into frenzied eyes that dared him to keep teasing. Cris winked, then sucked Jake’s length down. Jake hollered, and Cris nearly crowed at the sound. He loved making his partner fall apart, frenzied with need, long before the fucking began. Hard pulls up and down, sometimes scraping with his teeth. Jake pumped his hips, trying to fuck Cris’s mouth.

“Fuck, please,” Jake said on a gasp.

Cris pulled off. “Not yet.”

He released Jake’s hands so he could push his legs back, tilting Jake’s hips and exposing his hole.

Jake made a desperate noise. “Yes.”

“You like getting your asshole licked?”

“Fuck yes.”

Cris flicked the tip of his tongue against the puckered muscle, the barest touch.

Jake’s hips jerked. “Bastard.”

He bit Jake’s left cheek, earning a surprised yelp that settled into a long moan. A second flicker of his tongue. Another hip jerk. Cris entertained himself with the tease, alternating long swipes with short flicks, playing Jake’s body for all he was worth, because damn, the kid was responsive. Jake never stopped making noise, never stopped thrashing and begging for more, and each little sound made Cris harder. Sent him higher.

Cris snagged the lube without missing a beat. Slicked up a finger while he ate Jake’s hole, softening him for the surprise. He lifted his head to watch Jake’s face as he pressed that finger inside. Jake’s eyes went wide, mouth falling open in a long, desperate gasp. He humped Cris’s finger, so Cris fucked him with it, slow at first. A gentle tease, waiting for a sign from Jake.

The moment Jake lifted his head high enough to meet his gaze, brown eyes simmering with lust and need, Cris fucked him harder. Jake’s eyes rolled back when he added a second finger, fucking him to the last knuckle, driving Jake higher with only his hand. No sounds beyond Jake’s gasps and cries and the slip slap of skin on skin.

Jake raised his head with effort, cheeks stained red, and gasped, “Another one.”

Something inside of Cris twisted up tight at the absolute trust shining in Jake’s eyes. The need for more, to climb higher, believing Cris could take him there. Three fingers took a little work and a lot of patience. He watched Jake’s face for any sign that it was too much, too painful, but Jake panted and gasped and pushed down. Urging him. Precome smeared Jake’s belly where his cock dragged on every thrust.

Cris’s own cock was painfully tight, desperate to relieve the pressure building deep inside.

“Oh fuck,” Jake said. “Oh shit.” He grabbed his dick and hadn’t pulled three strokes before he clamped down hard on Cris’s fingers and shot across his own belly and chest. A blob of white even landed on his chin. Cris stilled his hand while Jake came down from his high, thighs trembling with aftershocks over what looked like a doozy of an orgasm.

Cris gently removed his fingers and wiped them on his thigh, uncertain if he could still—

“Fuck me.” Jake held his legs back, keeping position, sleepy-eyed but determined. “You can.”

Cris didn’t need a second invitation. He gloved up and pushed inside in one smooth stroke that made Jake moan. So good, so loose and ready for him, and it took maybe a dozen hard thrusts for Cris to fall over the edge in a blast of pleasure that lit him up from his toes to his scalp.

He had enough sense to pull out and put Jake’s legs down before collapsing on top of the smaller man. Jake draped loose arms around his waist and tucked his head beneath Cris’s chin. Warm breath tickled Cris’s sweaty chest, cooling the skin. Some guys didn’t like to cuddle after sex, but Cris did; especially if he felt an actual connection to his partner. And boy howdy, he felt something with Jake. And judging by the way Jake had burrowed in close, he felt something, too.

“You can stay,” Cris whispered, the room too quiet for full volume.

“Okay.”

Cris reluctantly left Jake’s embrace. In the bathroom, Cris wiped off, then brought a warm washcloth and clean towel into the bedroom. Jake was still boneless, so he let Cris clean off his chest, then roll him over and gently do the same for his ass. Cris kissed each butt cheek. Then Jake’s mouth, where he lingered for a long time.

Eventually, they ended up under the covers with the light out.

Jake curled up against him, head resting on Cris’s shoulder, one arm slung across Cris’s chest. All kinds of compliments rattled around in Cris’s head, but the easy silence didn’t require them. The sex had been mind-blowing for them both. That much was obvious.

Maybe he could talk Jake into another date over breakfast. He dozed on that happy thought….
….only to wake with morning sunshine streaming in through open curtains. The other side of the bed was empty and cold.

Jake was gone.


And an hour later, Cris realized, so was his wallet.

#


(c) A.M. Arthur 2017